Alyson Footer says that the Astros have signed former A's catcher Landon Powell to a minor-league deal.
Powell was the A's 1st-Round pick (24th overall) in 2004, out of South Carolina, and won't be a free agent until 2016. He'll be 30 next week.
Powell wasn't much with the bat in his career. He hit .229/.297/.429 in 2009, his rookie season, where he got 155 PAs and half of his 14 XBHs went for homers. In 2011, he saw 36 games (122 PAs) of action for the A's, but hit .171/.246/.225. In 2008 Powell saw 88 games of action, and drew 63 walks in 367 PAs. His affiliation with the A's, and primarily their Triple-A club (where he hit .235/.358/.414 in four seasons (118 games, total), means that he's at least passing acquaintances with OKC manager Tony DeFrancesco.
The Todd Van Poppel Rookie Card Retirement Plan (aside from being one of the best blog names around) had this to say about Powell's cutting from the A's:
I wish Powell luck, he seems a good guy, will forever be a part of A’s history for being the backstop during Dallas Braden‘s perfect game. But from a baseball standpoint there wasn’t much of value having Powell on the roster.
Powell has dealt with knee injuries in the past, but also - more seriously - has autoimmune hepatitis, a rare liver disease with no cure, and will need a liver transplant in the next 10-15 years.
What does it mean? I don't know. He hasn't been an everyday catcher since 2006, when he caught 102 games over the course of the season. It probably doesn't bode well for Carlos Corporan, or maybe Humberto Quintero.